VOTING | New Union Act

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That the bill be passed as AIN Law...

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VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Neil on 12th December 2011, 19:05

This bill is quite long, lengthy and technical so I have highlighted all the big changes and essential bits in bold and italicised the rest of it, which basically sets aside provisions for how it is achieved and adds in the technicalities. I would advise reading the bold first and if you find anything controversial then going ahead and reading the whole thing start to finish BEFORE POSTING COMMENTS/QUESTIONS...

BILL TO RESTRUCTURE THE ORGANISATION OF UNION AND ASSOCIATED FORUMS, TO SET UP PROVISION OF A COMMITTEE OF TRUSTEES AND TO LEGISLATE FOR NEW FORUM RULES (New Union Act)

There comes a time for all things to evolve, or else simply die out. SimCity is now nearly in its 8th year and the oldest union the SCJU is in its 5th year (soon to be 6). Both of these long running institutions are beginning the process of dying out after reaching their peak a year or more ago and it is looking likely that the SimCity community, at least will be extinct or incredibly small in a year or two. The Alliance of Independent Nations on the other hand still hasn’t reached its peak with more and more applications of relatively new members to the community and an ever increasing average post count. These changes proposed will ensure the union continues to grow and prosper even after the majority of the leadership move on, so that the time, effort and passion put into this union live on for years to come.

A number of the union core organs are outdated. The union has developed a high level of bureaucracy, we have 6 administrators – Simtropolis has 7. The constitution is so lengthy that it rarely gets updated is already out of date because of evolving organs (the ASC) and changing member attitudes. We have little focus on where the union goes strategically and the Executive may only represent the views of 2 current long-standing members. This bill will aim to add an increasing amount of democracy to the ordinary members and patch the many gaps the current system of government, membership and how unions operate with a completely new system.


[§1] The bill proposes that the current administration team of 6 is reduced to 3, 2 permanent administrators who will be appointed via application (after the resignation of one of the incumbent admins) and the current President-Elect.
The administrators will be tasked with the strategic development of the union website and forums along with running the technical back of house aspect of the forums – adding new forums, changing the look and ensuring everything is in running order.
To assist the reduced number of admins in the moderation of the forums, there will be 4 moderators appointed by the administrators via application (after implementation of this bill, the resignation of a moderator or the sacking of a moderator by the Executive – due to a rule breach or lack of activity). The moderators will have full moderation privileges over the forums short of making changes to forum systems, appearance or being able to ban users/access their personal information.

[§2] The bill proposes that the Executive continues to function as a diarchy, as in the constitution. With specific roles assigned to the President and Vice-President. The President would function as the head administrator, lead the development of the forums, ensure the AIN Parliament and Security Council run effectively, represent the union ceremonially in events, national tours and to other unions as well as making law and consulting on the strategic direction of the AIN. The Vice-President would be the head moderator, convene and organise union events, ensure member's welfare, oversee the running of government departments/organs and assist the President when required. Both would hold the power to ban members, shut the website down (temporarily) and make union addresses.
The Executive will be elected for a six-month term and members can only serve on the executive for an absolute maximum of 3 consectutive terms. The Executive can be disbanded by a majority motion in the Senate proposed by any Member State, or by the Trustee Committee.

[§3] The bill proposes that a new body is set up to oversee the union's strategic aims and to lead the union in times of crisis (the godparents of the AIN). They will have the power to ban any user permanently, shut the AIN down (temporarily or permanently), appoint the permanent administrators, move the domain hosting and collect money on behalf of the AIN after a majority vote via email or skype. This body will be named the Committee of Trustees and will be formed of the following users by invitation of the chair (President of the AIN):
  • A Chairman, who is the elected President of the AIN (Represents the Executive views)
  • 2 Administrators (Represents the views of Senior members and carries out the work for the Trustees)
  • 2 Former Members in good standing (To represent the former leaders and present a neutral and experienced view)
  • 1 Other Member, invited by the President after their election (To represent the views of Junior/New Members)
This body will only meet when required and a meeting can be convened by any of the Trustees. The body is fully accountable to the members and can be disbanded for re-election through a majority motion in the senate by any member who is not a trustee.
[/list]

[§4] The bill proposes that all versions (including the current 3rd version) of the AIN Constitution are repealed. The AIN will function no longer on a constitution but on 2 fluid documents – Forum Rules (see §5) and Executive Handbook, that can be amended by any Member State via the Senate.

[§5] The bill proposes that the forum rules become a constitutional document of the AIN. Offences will be placed into four classes: A, B, C and Negotiable. Classes of each offence will be negotiated by the Executive and/or the ASC on appeal.
  • Class A offences are severe offences causing distress, major disrepute or direct/intentional damage to a member or the union. Punishment for such offences is a lifetime ban (subject to appeal through the ASC) and withdrawal of a member’s membership . E.g. Criminal damage, Libel, Cheating in union events, Discrimination, Personal attacks on members.
  • Class B offences are less serious offences causing a degree of irritation, some disrepute or indirect damage to a member or the union. Punishment is at the discretion of the admin team and can consist of a 12/24/48/72/168 hour ban and 30 days of probationary membership (see §6). 2 Class B offences within a year will result in Class A action being taken. E.g. Plagiarism, Refusal to obey directions, Serious spamming.
  • Class C offences are misdemeanours which cause minor annoyance to a user or a refusal to obey union standards. An official warning will be given before a member is penalised with a 1/6/12 hour ban, 3 Class C offences within a year will result in Class B action being taken. E.g. Spamming/Vulgar language.
  • Negotiable offences are minor incidents which admins will ask a member to correct. Multiple warnings will result in Class C action being taken. E.g. Oversized images, Overuse of emoticons, Inappropriate banners.

[§6] The bill proposes that these measures are implemented from 24/12/2011.


Last edited by Neil on 18th December 2011, 19:51; edited 2 times in total
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Neil on 12th December 2011, 19:05

In a hurry now, but I will reply to any questions and speak on the bill and why I think it should be approved later on this evening...
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by will on 12th December 2011, 19:36

Frankly, I disagree with much of this, I think that it is basically a change to the entire way the AIN is done, and I don't think we should be doing that. I'm fine with moving forward but not with a complete overhaul. The only part I do agree with is the final part on membership level changes, we have a set way to do things and that's how it should be.

I also don't mean for that to come across harshly if it does.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by SmartbyLaw on 12th December 2011, 20:51

I support this bill. We have to come the realization that the SC4 community is starting to die. The only way to continue to keep AIN at the top of its game is to evolve. If we don't evolve, we don't survive (kinda a basic idea of nature). They've seen the fall of many unions (older members) over time. They know things that the new members (me included) don't know. I think that if we need to evolve, then the necessary things need to be changed.

I support this bill, with minor adjustments. It seems that associate member's rights are, lets face it, next to none. Being an associate member and seeing this is kinda concerning. I know, it gives me a bigger push to apply to become full member, but until then, it kinda bans us from doing a lot.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Blakeway4 on 12th December 2011, 22:09

I'm curious about the 2 formal members. If they quit, it's because they don't have time for the AIN, so they won't have time for their "job".

I don't agree with the veto thing in the Senate about Member's rights. And I do agree with SBL over the rest. So I'm for this act. Smile
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by ForthWall on 13th December 2011, 00:14

I support this Smile

but...

Neil wrote:
  • Will be the only members with voting rights in the Senate, on Event Bids and on New Applications


I think associates should also vote.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Jo on 13th December 2011, 05:27

I support this bill in its entirety! The incident this week shows that some associate members need more time to develop and also that the executive needs more effective ways to punish members.. As Neil says it is a fluid document more rights and privileges can be restored to associate members at a later time..

But I think this should pass as it stands.. We need to evolve and if this reform passes hopefully it would be a welcome back for some of our most talented members that have left us recently.

Jo - minister for parliamentary services and culture arts and sports.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by emgmod on 13th December 2011, 07:31

Julien: I'm under the impression that the former members can be assembled when needed.

But other than that, I support everything in this bill.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by SmartbyLaw on 13th December 2011, 18:02

The associate members should not be punished for what I did. I will not support this bill unless associate members are allowed to vote.


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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Neil on 13th December 2011, 21:55

will wrote:Frankly, I disagree with much of this, I think that it is basically a change to the entire way the AIN is done, and I don't think we should be doing that. I'm fine with moving forward but not with a complete overhaul. The only part I do agree with is the final part on membership level changes, we have a set way to do things and that's how it should be. I also don't mean for that to come across harshly if it does.

I encourage the member to voice the exact problems he has with the bill and for the member to recommend compromises or alternative solutions. The attitude of 'let's stay the same' is how a lot of unions die out, we need to be progressive and adaptable to constantly present ourselves as the best, newest and freshest union. I understand that this will bring about some frankly, massive changes, to the way the union is run but this is in the context of an even bigger change from a cosy little free hosted site to a completely custom site on paid hosting. On the backdrop of this massive change and leap forward the AIN is about to make, these changes are relatively small. The Trustees are necessary to develop a new cadre to continue to run the union even after the current cadre have left.
I am willing to work with the member, and others who disagree with parts or all of this bill to develop alternatives. However we do need to develop a focus towards the long term (hence, the trustees) alongside the here and now which the Executive has managed well for the past year.
Having the way we do things 'set' adds additional challenges when it comes to diversify or we face an adversity, the culture in the union is constantly changing and by taking a transitional approach to our constitutional documents, as opposed to a set programme which will hinder development. This means that we can adapt with member requirements without dropping the principles of the union, which I believe may be what has brought opposition from yourself.

Blakeway4 wrote:I'm curious about the 2 formal members. If they quit, it's because they don't have time for the AIN, so they won't have time for their "job".
I don't agree with the veto thing in the Senate about Member's rights. And I do agree with SBL over the rest. So I'm for this act. Smile

The former members as Trustees would only be required after each election for a brief meeting and in times of union crisis. Many members do leave because they no longer have the time for the AIN, the members who would be invited to this role are members who have put a lot of time and passion into the AIN and wish to see it prosper after they have left - therefore it is hoped that they will be able to sacrifice the few hours it requires annually.

As for the veto, this already exists under the current constitution - which allows any member state to veto a bill which either: damages their national sovereignty, will cause harm to the citizens of their nation or if they have a justification that it will cause damage to the union or is unconstitutional. Safeguards are in place, anyone who uses their veto will have to give full justification and appear before the ASC to present their case.

ForthWall wrote:I think associates should also vote.
SmartbyLaw wrote:The associate members should not be punished for what I did. I will not support this bill unless associate members are allowed to vote.
SmartbyLaw wrote:I support this bill, with minor adjustments. It seems that associate member's rights are, lets face it, next to none. Being an associate member and seeing this is kinda concerning. I know, it gives me a bigger push to apply to become full member, but until then, it kinda bans us from doing a lot.

The member's concerns about Associate Membership are well founded, indeed this bill will breadth the gap between Member States and Associate Members of the AIN. However, the legal inability to vote in the Senate has always be banned in the previous two revisions of the constitution, the ASC when it was created also made clear that it was only open to Member States - there has just been a lack of enforcement on this issue, due to these forums not having the functionality to systemically prevent it (the new forums will).
Associate Membership was created to allow members who were not quite there in terms of union application standards to participate in the union, get advice on improving their nation, to make friends with Member States and to establish their nation diplomatically - all this is currently possible with no voting rights.
The question should not be whether Associate Members should have equal privileges to Member States, but whether it is a redundant position and should be abolished, if members feel that there should be no distinction between the membership types.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by SmartbyLaw on 13th December 2011, 22:07

I would support abolishing the associate membership. It just divides the forum more than it is needed. If we want to see democracy and usher in a new era, i think associate membership should be eliminated and all members just be that, a member, not full or associate.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by will on 13th December 2011, 22:10

It seems as though this is basically creating an entirely new union, however, I'm actually starting to warm a bit to it. It is my opinion that because member rights are such a major talking point, and since i'm a full member this does not effect me, but we should probably not put member rights in this bill and separate the two, we can have it as a future amendment when we start the new site, but I think they belong apart. We could create an entire subforum for the topic of member rights because of opinions people might have on it. I also agree with SBL on having next to no rights for associates. I think that associate membership should have fewer rights but at the same time, they should have some. Associate in this bill almost seems to me like the Observer status apart from really being able to call yourself AIN Members. I do feel that there is no longer a distinction though, and I disagree with the redundency of the position based on what is going to be occuring soon. We may try changing their names, Member and Junior Member (which is how I think we had it before)
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Neil on 13th December 2011, 22:39

I agree with Will on separating the Membership aspect of this bill.

A debate will be opened on the membership issue after this bill moves to Senate.

For now, the status quo with unenforced privileges will continue!
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Neil on 13th December 2011, 22:41

BILL EDITED
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by will on 13th December 2011, 23:01

Awesome! I got something effective done! Cheeky/Razz
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by SmartbyLaw on 13th December 2011, 23:06

Yea, congrats.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Jo on 14th December 2011, 00:34

Comment withdrawn .. I agree with the separation of membership rights from this bill but also believe that the two levels of membership should stand. It's how we've always done it. But it also acts as a terrific system of checks and balances with new members and also a great inducement for new members to improve their nations before attaining the next membership level. They can't just sit back with mediocre countries and get everything straight up. That will just create a slippery slope to the death of the union..


Last edited by Jo on 14th December 2011, 02:04; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Comment withdrawn)
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Neil on 14th December 2011, 00:53

Jo wrote:Lol with nice conversation of well thought out argument not sheer harassment.. I agree with the separation of membership rights from this bill but also believe that the two levels of membership should stand. It's how we've always done it. But it also acts as a terrific system of checks and balances with new members and also a great inducement for new members to improve their nations before attaining the next membership level. They can't just sit back with mediocre countries and get everything straight up. That will just create a slippery slope to the death of the union..

I'd advise the member to withdraw the comment, whether made in humour or not, about an incident that is currently under investigation as it may heighten tensions.

Does the minister feel this is ready for the Senate or is more debate required?


Last edited by Neil on 14th December 2011, 00:54; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Jo on 14th December 2011, 02:03

Comment withdrawn

And yes I think it's ready to go to senate
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by MiguelLeal on 14th December 2011, 15:02

I don't have time to comment it right now but when I get home I will read this carefully and say what I agree or disagree and what I think that should be worked more. But in my first seeing of this new act I have to agree with it since I don't like how the AIN is structured right now, and I sincerely agree with the creation of trust group.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Thomas on 15th December 2011, 18:03

Trustee group: Very good idea, as long as you get the right people.
Admins/Mods: Will work well, I like it. Could be a nice replacement for Commissioners.
Personally I still think some form of secondary membership is necessary. We get some mediocre applications at times, that need a fair bit of work. These should be given a goal to reach, the goal of member statehood and the chance to be in the union government and ASC.
We get some very good applications that don't deserve being put in the same "class" as poorer applications, because they are much better and a one-size-fits-all structure seems a bit too far for me.

Hypothetically, if this bill passed, couldn't a non-member apply and become a minister (through only one runner or no campaign by opponent) within one month of applying, if they applied in January, for example? That worries me.

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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Neil on 15th December 2011, 18:16

Thomas wrote:Trustee group: Very good idea, as long as you get the right people.
Admins/Mods: Will work well, I like it. Could be a nice replacement for Commissioners.
Personally I still think some form of secondary membership is necessary. We get some mediocre applications at times, that need a fair bit of work. These should be given a goal to reach, the goal of member statehood and the chance to be in the union government and ASC.
We get some very good applications that don't deserve being put in the same "class" as poorer applications, because they are much better and a one-size-fits-all structure seems a bit too far for me.

Hypothetically, if this bill passed, couldn't a non-member apply and become a minister (through only one runner or no campaign by opponent) within one month of applying, if they applied in January, for example? That worries me.

Those are my thoughts on the membership issue also, for now I suggest we don't include any amendments to our membership system in this bill and maintain the status quo. We should open a new thread with different options for a full debate in the next week (after this bill goes to Senate).

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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Thomas on 15th December 2011, 18:20

I agree. One step at a time - new structure at the top, with the protective layer of the trustees, to sustain the AIN into the future. Then the new forums (need to talk to you about those btw) and if any more membership changes want to be introduced then do it after we've moved and settled down, I think.

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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by Neil on 15th December 2011, 18:28

Thomas wrote:Need to talk to you about those btw

Tomorrow, I have been drinking and am about to head out.
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

Post by SmartbyLaw on 18th December 2011, 01:55

Not to seem pushy, but when is this bill going to be moved to the Senate? Wondering Smile
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Re: VOTING | New Union Act

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